Archive for the 'parenting' Category

Jan 09 2014

Brothers!!!!

Published by under parenting

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“He’s adorable – you call him adorable”  These were their first words when Grant and Hudson finally saw their little brother, Ethan Scott, for the first time yesterday.  They may not feel that way about him everyday, but there will always be a deep brotherly love that will be there to help in time of need.

. . . a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 17:17 

Check out these posts for ways to help promote love and acceptance when a little brother or sister comes to your house:

http://www.trainupthechild.org/2010/09/30/when-a-new-baby-comes-to-your-house/

http://www.trainupthechild.org/2010/10/05/a-brother-is-born-to-help-in-time-of-need/

http://www.trainupthechild.org/2010/10/07/more-of-a-brother-is-born-to-help-in-time-of-need/

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Sep 30 2013

Train Up The Child From the Womb to the Tomb

I apologize for this long post but it is a chapter from How Shall We Order the Child.  It talks about beginning in the womb to train up the child.  Judges 13 is the account of Samson’s parents’ inquiry as to how to order their child when given the news they were to become parents.  The information was very helpful to me as I was pregnant with each of our 4 children and it is prevalent in my mind and heart right now as we are expecting our 4th grandchild in January!!  Here’s a picture :-)

Baby Bear 3


Set Apart From the Womb

Judges 13:7, 12-14

“But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son;and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing:for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.”

“And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass.  How shall we order the child,and how shall we do unto him?  And the angel of the Lord said unto Manoah,of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine,neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that command her let her observe.”

Manoah wanted God’s will concerning his child so he enquired of God as to how to order the child.  Possibly this father-to-be was looking for instructions on how to care for the child or how to disciple him after he was born which is usually what concerns an expectant parent.  But God’s plan was to begin right then and the child was not even conceived yet.  God wanted the child to be a Nazarite from the womb which meant he wanted Samson set apart for him from the beginning.  The instructions given concerned what went into the mother’s body.  This referred to not only physical food and drink but also spiritual nourishment for we are not just physical beings.

I Corinthians 6:20 says that we have a spirit and body. What a mother to be eats during pregnancy feeds the child physically.  It is necessary for the baby’s normal, healthy physical development.  In the same way, what the mother takes into her spirit feeds the baby’s spirit.  Andrew Murray, in his book, How to Raise Your Children for Christ, points out “in that holy time of mystery, when mother and child are still one, and influences from a mother’s spirit pass into the child, God says that the mother is to obey all that He commands.”(Judges 13:14)  God wants the mother obeying His Word and thus feeding the child’s spirit with scripture.

A majority of children are conceived and brought into the world and never have their spirit nourished and developed.  If the child’s spirit is not nourished, he has no desire for God because it is pointed out all through the Bible that God deals with man’s spirit.

John 4:24 “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

 Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

God wants the spirit of man to be predominate but the world spends time making mighty bodies instead of mighty spirits.  Paul prays Ephesians 3:16:”That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man:”

God did not want Samson’s mother to allow any unclean thing into her body.  It is important to abstain from any harmful or unclean thing during pregnancy such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. which have been proven to harm the baby physically.  It is just as important to keep out unclean thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions which will harm the baby’s spirit.     The way to keep your attitudes, thoughts, and actions clean is by meditating on the Word of God.

Psalm 119: “The Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You.”

Psalm 119:15 “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.”

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!

According to this verse, meditation on God will keep the mother free from worry and stress which has been proven to affect the baby.   Not only should the mother just meditate on God’s Word but time should be spent by both parents praying scripture into the baby’s life.

Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth.  It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please,  And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Send the word into the baby’s life through prayer.  Before our children were born, one of the prayers I prayed for them was from I Peter 3:4 for him to have a “meek and quiet spirit”.  At our firstborn’s first doctor visit the doctor remarked at what a quiet baby he was.  There is power in praying the Word!

Psychologists say there is no question that the unborn baby can hear.  His physical ears operate at least four months before he is born.  His spiritual ears operate from the very start.  The baby needs to hear the Word from the womb and be surrounded by the name of Jesus because of the importance of that name.

Philip. 2:9-11 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The father’s role is essential in the baby’ spiritual development.  Notice that Manoah was the one who inquired as to how to order the child, not his wife.  He recognized his responsibility for the child.  Notice how his words with the angel, “Let thy words come to pass” showed his surrender to God to have His will done.  The fact that he asked God how to raise the child showed his dependence on God.    Manoah was given the responsibility of seeing that the woman obeyed God’s Words thus making him the spiritual leader for his family, even for the child in the womb.

There are references all through the Bible of God’s dealings in the womb.  Psalm 139:13-16 describes God’s prenatal care in forming our bodies:

Psalm 139:13-16 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.   Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

Isaiah 49:1:”The Lord has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.”

Psalm 71:6   By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You.

Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.”

The forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb according to Luke 1:15:”For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”

Throughout scripture those who were great men of God began as such in the womb. However, scripture points that wickedness begins in the womb also.

Psalm 58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”

Psalm 51:5 David said,”Behold, I was shaped in iniquity: and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

We are all born with a sinful nature which begins in the womb.  This nature has to be brought under God’s control.  God wants this begun before our children are born.

God had a special plan for Samson.  He was to be set apart for God’s service beginning in the womb.  God never changes.  He still wants children for Himself from their very beginning.  God’s will is that every person can say as David said in Psalm 22:10: “I was cast upon You from the womb.  You are my God from my mother’s womb.”

 

Suggested Prenatal Study:

It is interesting that there are 9 Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and there are 9 months of pregnancy.  Take one Fruit each month of pregnancy to study, pray, and meditate on.

Listed below are my notes from studying and meditating on the Fruit of the Spirit when I was pregnant.

1. Love – giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive any personal reward

John 17:26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

2. Joy – the exultation of my inward being that results from genuine harmony with God and others

John 17:13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

3. Peace – harmony with God, others, and self

Philip. 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4. Longsuffering – patience, endurance, inward strength to withstand stress

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

5. Gentleness – expressing personal care appropriate to another’s emotional need

Titus 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 

6. Goodness – righteousness, loving-kindness

Romans 11:22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

7. Faith – visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

8. Meekness – controlled, humble, yielding my personal rights and expectations to God

1 Peter 3:4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

9. Temperance – self control, mastering one’s desires and passions, instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit

1 Cor. 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

 

 

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Aug 27 2013

God’s Plan for Parenting – Deuteronomy 6

Published by under parenting,Scripture,Video

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.

                                                   

 Pastor Rob Morgan explains this important passage for parents:
http://youtu.be/X6ZOIqi4PBo

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May 11 2013

What Makes a Happy Mother?

Philip. 2:12-16

  1. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,
  2. work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
  3. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,  
  4. holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

As I was running recently I was questioning if all the efforts to get up and out early to get a run in was really making a difference.  Then I heard the above scripture as I was listening to Philippians on my iphone.  My thoughts immediately went from physical to spiritual and from efforts for my physical health to my efforts for my children’s spiritual health through the years.

Paul’s source of joy and desire for his beloved Philippians should be every mother’s joy and desire for her children:

  1. That they would obey not only in her presence but much more in her absence
  2. That they would take charge of their own spiritual lives, allowing God to work in them His good pleasure
  3. That they would shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation
  4. That they would hold fast the Word of Life until the day of Christ so that she can rejoice that she has not run in vain or labored in vain.

This reminded of the time my sister and I decided to surprise Mom and Dad with new living room furniture as theirs was completely ruined from the pets they so lovingly allowed me to have all through my childhood :-) . When Dad sat down on the new furniture he said with tears in his eyes, ‘We must have done something right to have children to treat us so kindly.’  I was thankful that we gave my Dad and Mom cause to feel they had not run or labored in vain.

Now on this Mother’s Day I want to say to my four beloved children, “Thank you for holding forth the Word of Life and giving your Dad and me reason to rejoice that we have not run in vain. We see yall taking charge of your own spiritual lives and shining as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  Yall have made me a happy mother!!!!”

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4

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Apr 05 2013

Meal Time – Nourishment and Nurturing

 

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. . . And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees.
Psalm 128:3

I love it when research actually validates what God has said! This verse indicates that children are healthy when they sit around your table and now a recent research reveals that children and adolescents who share family meals 3 or more times per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier dietary and eating patterns than those who share fewer than 3 family meals together.  And this article points out the multiple advantages to family meals together.

Simplify your life – cut out an extracurricular activity if you have to – but make meals together a family tradition that your children will remember long after they have left home.  Meal time is important, not just for the physical nourishment your children need, but also for the mental, emotional, and spiritual nurturing they need.  

Here are some suggestions to help you meet those needs around your table:

Conversation starters during the meal:

  • What did you enjoy doing today?
  • What did you enjoy learning?
  • Who did you enjoy being with today?
  • Did you do something kind today?
  • What was your high today?
  • What was your low?

After the meal:

Do a short devotional, read a Bible story,  or spend time memorizing a verse together.
Our family’s favorite thing was Playdough Devotionals.  Each person would make something out of their playdough and the rest of the family would guess what part of the story they were illustrating.

Have prayer time, but before you do, ask:

  • What happened today you are thankful for?
  • Who did you talk to, or see, or hear about that we should pray for?
  • What happened or is going to happen that we need to pray about for you?

Try to relax and enjoy time together eating a nourishing meal, talking with your children, and growing closer to God as a family.  Then you can truly say, ‘Look at my healthy children around the table.’

(Oh –  and don’t forget to talk about 1 Cor. 3:9 ‘We work together as partners who belong to God’ as everyone helps to clean up the kitchen when it’s all over so Mom can enjoy the time without thinking about what needs to be done afterwards.) :-)

 

 

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Mar 05 2013

Consider the Birds

Published by under Ideas,Instruction,parenting

 

Deep Inner Peace

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young–
a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God,
Psalm 84:3

Interesting that in this verse God uses sparrows and swallows which are considered the most restless of birds.  He referred to them as ‘fluttering’ and ‘darting’ in Proverbs 26:2.

Yet these most restless birds find a place of rest for themselves and their young near the altar of God. We should follow their example with our young, giving them to God.  We need to stay close to Him, allowing God to work through us to train them in the way they should go; so they will be like these birds that were free to go anywhere, but chose to stay near the altar.

David must have been watching the birds in the sanctuary of God and it stirred up in him the desire to dwell that near to God and find rest for himself and his children.  Jesus must have been watching the birds when He used them as teaching aides in Matthew 6:26 and Matthew 23:37

God obviously values birds as there are numerous references to them in Scripture:

He implies that the birds have a better perspective, are more observant, and are wiser than most things: Job 28:21Proverbs 1:17Job 35:11

God acknowledged that birds are great parents as He mentions wanting to gather us under His wings as a hen gathers her chicks: Matthew 23:37

He even tells us to consider the birds and to ask the birds to teach us: Matthew 6:26Job 12:7

Western Gull Family

My nephew and his wife work to rescue birds with The International Bird Rescue Center in San Pedro, CA.  So I asked them for some info on birds.  They pointed me to a documentary called “Life of Birds”  Watch and study more about these creatures that God values.  You might learn something about parenting.

But the most important thing we can learn from the birds is that as we seek to parent in the midst of the storms of our busy lives, we should stop the ‘fluttering’ and ‘darting’ and lay our children at the altar of God – keeping ourselves and them near to Him,  and finding peace and protection there. ‘The sparrows and swallows could not have chosen a better place to find rest, or a safer place to have their young and raise their family. The dwelling place of God should be a place of safety where we can raise our children.’ ( Matthew McDonald )

Now for something fun.  One thing I learned in this study is that parents may feed the newborns every 10 minutes – whew – we think every 2 to 3 hours is tough! Here’s a video of footage my son Jeremiah captured a few years ago observing a robin feeding her young. Watch till the end and see what devoted parents they are. ;-)

http://youtu.be/uS6cA0lxBw4

 

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Feb 10 2013

A Week of Ideas to Teach about Love

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Here are some ideas to help you teach your children about showing love during this week of celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Creatively work together to display each day’s verse on the fridge. (cut, color, or paint a heart and put the verse on it)

Repeat the verse often during the day as you reinforce it as you go – here a little, there a little. (Deuteronomy 6:7), (Isaiah 28:10)

Read the Bible stories yourself and then tell them in your own words. Be animated and use visuals when possible.

Have fun establishing God’s Word in your children this week!!!!

Day One

Bible Verse: Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times.

Story: David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18 1-4)

Activity for Baby to 3: Have a friend over to play with child. Tell story of David and Jonathan. Share toys. For infant, spend time talking about and thanking God for all the baby’s friends, after reading story.

Older Activity: Have child help make cookies and then invite a friend over to share them with. Talk about ways to show love to our friends.

Day Two

Bible Verse: 1 John 4:7 – Love one another.

Story: Elisha’s Friends (2 Kings 4:8-11)

Activity for Baby to 3: Tell the story of Elisha and talk about how you prepared a room for baby to show your love for him. Point out things in baby’s room.

Older Activity: Read story. Draw a picture of the story.

Day Three

Bible Verse: Galatians 5:13 – Help one another
Story: Four Friends (Mark 2:1-12)

Activity for Baby to 3: Make Valentines for friends and pray for for their friends as you do.

Older Activity: Same as for Baby to 3

Day Four

Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 1:24 – We are helpers.

Story: We Work Together – (Nehemiah 1:1-11, 2:1-20, 3:1-32, 6:15-16)

Activity for Baby to 3: Help fold laundry or pick up toys.

Older Activity: Play blocks together and pretend to build the wall as you tell the story. Dads, let child hammer some nails in some scrap wood while you supervise.

Day Five

Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another.

Story: Philip’s New Friend – (Acts 8:1-39)

Activity for Baby to 3: Do something special for baby or child like making him cookies or getting him a new inexpensive toy. Give him a hug and lead child to give someone a hug. Talk about ways he can show kindness.

Older Activity: Read story. Say Philip showed kindness by reading the Bible to his friend and telling him about God. Let’s be kind to our friends and tell them about God. Lead child to send a Bible verse or Bible story to one of his friends.

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Jul 24 2012

Benefits of Teaching Children the Truths of Scripture

Published by under Instruction,parenting,Scripture

 

The following comes from the latest post by Discipleland (Check out their great resources.)

 

“Four Key Benefits of Teaching Children the Truths of Scripture:
  1. Makes kids wise for salvation (2 Timothy 3:15)
  2. Thoroughly equips them to do good works (2 Timothy 3:17)
  3. Prepares them to respond to those who ask about their hope (1 Peter 3:15)
  4. Readies them to withstand the culture’s onslaught that attempts to indoctrinate and deceive them (Ephesians 6:10-18)

 

After the Lord freed the Hebrews from slavery, Moses knew that God’s people needed a dramatic paradigm shift regarding parenting. He implores parents to do whatever it takes to train their kids about walking in God’s ways: ‘Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates’ (Deuteronomy 6:7-9).


Why was Moses so concerned that successive generations observe God’s laws? The Lord had promised His people that effective parenting would lead to these wonderful rewards:
  • His people would live safely in the land (Leviticus 25:18)
  • All would go well with them (Deuteronomy 12:28)
  • God would bless them in the land (Deuteronomy 30:16)

Training children to know and obey God is the primary way believers access God’s long-term blessing and rewards—for the family, for the church, and for the whole society.”

 

 

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Jul 12 2012

Training Moms in Uganda

I had the privilege of speaking to moms in several villages in Uganda last week. Uganda has the 2nd highest fertility rate in the world – 6.65 children born/woman.  What do you say to them about training their children spiritually when the physical needs of clothing, shelter, and food are so overwhelming?   Elaine Moody spoke before me and told the ladies about how everyone of us must relate to God with our spirits (John 4:24)
This led right into my speaking to them about training their children’s spirits to be sensitive to God.

I shared with them about Samson’s parents who asked how to order their son and the only instruction given was what the mother was to eat during pregnancy.  This led us to examine the fact that there are 9 fruit of the spirit and 9 months of pregnancy.  Meditating on one fruit of the spirit each month and praying that fruit for your unborn child can help his spirit grow as his little body grows. (see previous blog post on this subject)

I told them that Deuteronomy 6 instructs us to teach our children as we lie down, as we rise up, and as we go.  I showed them pictures of things they might see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.  I sang songs they could sing with their children to remind the children that God has given them the senses to enjoy His beautiful world.  I told them to involve all their senses in helping their children learn about God.

I don’t know how much the moms took away from the time we had together.  I can only pray they caught the passion to train their children’s spirits to relate to Christ . . . for He is our only hope whether we live in a well-built home in America or a mud-brick home in Uganda.



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May 14 2012

A Tenacious Mother Named Rizpah

Published by under audio,parenting,Scripture,sermon

Rizpah means ‘a glowing ember’. Tenacious means ‘persistent in adhering to, or seeking something desired; not easily pulled apart from.’   She was a mother that was glowing with a passionate desire from which she could not be pulled away.

2 Samuel 21:9-10

And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

We can learn much about parenting from this obscure, but very powerful story in the Old Testament!!! We need to stand guard over our children’s souls with the same sacrifice and tenacity that Rizpah guarded her children’s bodies!!

Please listen to her amazing story Who’s Kidding Who (part 4) by Dr. Billy Daws

We need to be a Rizpah!!!!

 

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